CGC 101: What is CGC? What do CGC Labels Mean?

by Lauren Sisselman

092321C-1-300x157 CGC 101: What is CGC? What do CGC Labels Mean?Hello collectors! Are you just starting out on your comic collector journey? Maybe you’ve been doing this for a while, or maybe you want to know more about CGC! In this series we’ll talk about what CGC is, the different grading tiers, and more. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn about CGC!

What is CGC?

The Certified Guarantee Company was founded in January of 2000 in New Jersey. Prior to this, graded comics were something no one had really thought of. The Overstreet Price Guide had been classifying books on a board scale (poor, good, near mint, etc) but no one had gone as in-depth as CGC was about to do. Since 2000, CGC has graded over 6 million comics –– including rare books such as Action Comics #31, and modern books like The Walking Dead. CGC also branched out into grading other collectible things outside of comics; trading cards, video games, posters, and lobby cards, are some of the other items CGC grades.K8M7UXjV_400x400-1-300x300 CGC 101: What is CGC? What do CGC Labels Mean?

Will grading help the value of my comic?

Overall yes it will. For comics that are already of high value (such as Action Comics #1), a known grade will help its value. The price difference between a 9.6 blue label and a 9.8 blue label on any book can have thousands of dollars between the two grades. This applies to all-era comics, but this is especially helpful if you are a Golden or Silver Age collector.

CGC also takes restoration into account, which will absolutely change the value of most comics spanning all-eras. A purple label might be a bit of a shock to collectors who can’t detect restoration, but a purple label doesn’t necessarily mean doom and gloom (though that is a topic for another day).

What are the different labels?

CGC has 5 labels;

Universal (blue) — Any standard comic from any era.

Restored (purple) — Any book that has had work done to it to restore the book, be in the cover or the interior. Restoration can be Slight (S), Moderate (M), or Extensive (E). cgc-labels-1-245x300 CGC 101: What is CGC? What do CGC Labels Mean?

Yellow (signature series) — Any comic that has been autographed, so long as a CGC Witness has observed that autograph being done.

Qualified (green) — Any comic with a defect (such as a coupon cut out), or an autograph that can not be verified.

Modern (red) — This label is no longer in use, but books with red labels can still be found from time to time.

Within each label, there are subcategories. Universal includes No Grade and Conserved books. Signature Series includes Restored (yellow and purple), and Red also includes Wizard First (which is also a defunct label).

What is the price of getting a book graded?

Prices to get your books graded start at $22. Times to get your book returned vary, but CGC has been keeping collectors up to date on current turnaround times. For a more in-depth look at their price list, check out their website. CGC also does onsite grading at most major comic book conventions across the United States. They will cut onsite grading off if the demand is greater than they anticipated. Onsite grading will cost you slightly more than submitting, but if you’re looking for a quick turn around this is your best option.

Overall, I am a fan of CGC, and have bought thousands of graded books over the years. Have any questions? Drop them in the comment section below!

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*This blog is written by an author independent of the views of GoCollect and does not represent an endorsement from GoCollect, nor is this blog sponsored by CGC.

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